The Scarred Landscape 2009

The Scarred Landscape is documenting how the construction of a motorway has negatively impacted on the

lives of over 300 landowners, their families and their livelihoods in rural Ireland. Under plans for construction since 2001, the new motorway extends from the M9 cutting through counties before termination at Waterford City. As the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger becomes increasingly apparent and one cannot help but draw the comparison between the seared landscape depicted in the photographs and the scarred Irish mindset left behind after a decade of affluence. The motorway once viewed as a symbol of hope and

progress, under the harsh spotlight of the recession and unanswered questions of the government spending. The motorway now stands as a trophy of indulgence. Severing generations of traditional land inheritance a Compulsory Purchase Order by the local County Council has left landowners with no choice. They were forced to hand over their land, their objections falling on deaf ears, their continuous protests deemed futile. The real issue is not about the compensation from the Council but the communities, villages, farms, and homes along the route that will be divided and demolished.

This, in turn, damages lives and livelihoods. It has an impact as access roads will be made into cul‐de-sacs.

The land has been passed through the generations of Irish families, with this in mind, many feel a sense of failure as the land is lost forever. Having missed the CelticTiger in my homeland Ireland by living in the UK, I had an interesting relationship returning and understanding the way it was affecting my community. On each of my returns during the years, I couldn’t understand how my friends had so much money. They

were literally burning it, after the collapse, it all became apparent and understanding that it was all built on false money and hopes/desires.

Gaining insight, sitting and talking in the heart of the Irish home, the kitchen, I tried to piece together this and give a voice to the community.